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Sydney Massage Gift Certificates

In this day and age when it is a struggle to buy material gifts for partners, family and friends more and more people are buying gifts that are more of an experience or a service rather than just an actual physical present. And probably towards the top of the list of such services are massages – if you are struggling for ideas then there are very few people would not gratefully accept the gift of a massage.

Purchasing a massage gift voucher is generally a fairly straightforward affair depending on whether you would like to buy the recipient a mobile massage or a massage at a Sydney clinic. If you have your own regular therapist that you see then they will probably be more than happy to sell you a voucher.

If you would like to buy a mobile massage gift voucher for someone who lives in Sydney then probably the best option is to buy directly online through Red Balloon Days, a Sydney wide company. They provide fully trained therapists who arrive with all necessary equipment so that the recipient of your wonderful gift can look forward to feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and balanced.


One Hour Sydney Mobile Massage Gift Certificate

Massage Gift Certificates
Click on the image to the left to find out more information about purchasing a one hour home Sydney massage gift voucher.

Cick here for Sydney Home Massage Packages


(Please note:
Inner West Massage is not associated with “ Red Balloon Days“)


There is typically an expiry date associated with a massage gift voucher. Please be mindful that many therapists and massage companies will strictly enforce this date. If this is potentially an issue for you or the massage gift recipient then it is suggested that you contact the service provider before purchasing the voucher to clarify this matter.

Celebrity Massages

celebrity massagesA recent ebook has been published which discusses various aspects of the massage industry (often salacious) – Touchy Subjects: Tales from the Massage Table by Steve Capellini. Included in the book is apparently detailed reference to a named celebrity that he massaged (I say apparently as I have not read the book and am only going on what people who have read the book have said). The report is that the story does not paint the celebrity in a good light.

An online discussion followed about the merits of discussing celebrity clients. There was fairly clear consensus that just because you have massaged someone who is in the public eye, it does not give you the right to discuss this or use the fact that you have massaged so-and-so to promote your business (unless you have their specific permission). Just normal basic privacy considerations should apply, regardless of who you have had on your massage table.

Yet there are massage businesses and therapists both in Sydney and in other cities who do use the fact that they have massaged identities to give their business a sense of elitism. Whether they do or do not have the individuals permission, I have no idea. They use phrases such as “the rock star massage therapist” or “massage therapists to the stars”. Whether they are trying to use such phrases to attract other ‘stars’ or to attract people who will be impressed by the fact that they have massaged celebs I don’t know.

The validity of this approach is very much a personal opinion.

  
Over the years that we have been operating, we have not divulged who we have massaged nor asked for ‘celebrity endorsements’.

It just doesn’t sit well with us. Most of our clients are ‘real’ people with ‘real’ issues from their everyday ‘real’ work and life.

Once you are on our table, it doesn’t matter to us who you are, where you live or what you do. All that matters is your body on our massage table and how we can best give you the bodywork experience that you are after.

By Richard Lane

You should always Massage Distal to Proximal. Is this yet another Massage Myth?

Recently there has been significant discussion about the massage myths that are frequently perpetuated by therapists (and sometimes even taught in massage schools). For example, pregnancy massage being contraindicated during the first trimester and massage releasing toxins are myths that are in the process of being eliminated.

distal to proximal massage
Massage therapists are always taught that they must massage distal to proximal, from the extremities towards heart. The argument is that the bodywork can increase the back pressure in the veins and potentially damage the vein’s valves through undue pressure.

Although it may appear to be logical rationale, is there any evidence that massaging proximal to distal does cause damage?

If you can imagine a fluid filled balloon inside a second fluid balloon and apply a local pressure to the external balloon, then (without claiming to be a scientist), it is hard to imagine that there will be a significant increase in the local pressure of the internal balloon. Isn’t this the situation in say the hamstrings, the calves or the quads? Would applying a distal force in one of these muscle groups really cause an increase in pressure significant enough to cause damage to a valve in a vein, even if the therapist was performing a strong deep tissue massage?

Please note, I am not advocating that therapists throw out the mantra that you must always work towards the heart. It is always understandable that there should be caution with working distally with anyone who has varicose veins, risk factors for deep vein thrombosis, potentially weaker veins (ie the elderly), during pregnancy, etc. However, let’s say for reasonable fit and healthy clients, is it true that we can really damage their veins?

I’m struggling to find any evidence that it can and has happened.

There are those who argue that working in a distal direction can be effective in achieving your massage goals, particularly if you are performing structural bodywork or the like. If you are massaging with correct intentions and are in tune with the requirements of the client’s, then you should work in the directions that will get the best results for the client.

According to Art Riggs(1) there are significant advantages of working distally:

• Since most muscles attach proximally in order to exert force proximally, working distally lengthens short muscle fibers and fascia for lasting relief from contraction which limits joint function and causes discomfort.
• It frees and lengthens nerves that have shortened along with the muscles.
• It decompresses joints and releases tight ligaments for better osseous function.
• Possibly the most important benefit is that working distally helps train our clients to override protective holding and reprograms movement patterns as they release in the direction of lengthening and relaxation.

  
If you have never tried releasing soft tissues by working proximal to distal then maybe it’s time to consider introducing it to your range of massage strokes and techniques. Just be mindful of normal massage contraindications, what you are doing, why you are doing it and who you are doing it on.

(1) “Distal vs Proximal Work”. Art Riggs. http://www.abmp.com/textonlymags/article.php?article=91

By Richard Lane

Advantages of being a Mobile Massage Therapist

Many massage therapists will do mobile massage at some time during their massage career. It may just be for a few family members, friends or clients that they know. Others will have a foot in both camps and mix clinic and mobile massage. Others will just consider themselves as being mobile massage therapists.

In addition, the mix between being a clinic based therapist and a mobile therapist may change significantly during one’s career. The norm is probably that a therapist will do a higher proportion of mobile massaging early in their career whilst they establish themselves in the industry and understand what works for them with respect to work/lifestyle balance.
Others (myself included) have done the opposite and gone from being mainly clinic based to only doing mobile massage in Sydney.

advantages of being a mobile massage therapistI will discuss the disadvantages of doing mobile massage in a later post but for now, just want to talk about the advantages to you as a therapist of seeing people in their homes.

   

The main advantage of being a mobile massage therapist is flexibility coupled with limited overheads. If you are renting space in a clinic then you need to see a certain number of clients before you start bringing in an income. Even worse, if there are no clients then money is still going out the door with nothing coming in.

Other advantages include:
– If you are sick, if you want to take a day off or have an extended holiday then your landlord will still have their hand in your pocket for the rent.

– If you are employed (or even a subcontractor) then you may have business restrictions placed on you that prevents you from setting up a business within a certain distance from your current clinic. This can effectively tie you to a specific clinic location.

– Providing home massages can be rewarding for you as a therapist. There is a little more flexibility with respect to time so that although it may be considered unprofessional going significantly over time, you can afford to build client relations by making sure that you provide an hour’s massage when the client has booked for an hour (unlike the 50 or so minutes you may get at a clinic when clients are booked on the hour). You don’t have to rush to make sure that you don’t keep your next client waiting.

– If you do the sums (and you are charging an appropriate rate), then the average take-home income per massage should be higher for outcall massaging. This is even more the case if you can manage to arrange extended appointment times or more than one client at a given location. It may even be the case if you say massage a couple at the same location, your rate/massage is lower than it would be at an equivalent client yet your hourly income is higher.

– Variety. Working in different spaces can help keep things interesting.

– Nice clients. Purely subjective but in my experience anyone who is prepared to let a stranger into their house offers a good energy and receptiveness to being massaged. Most clinics clients fall into the same category, but not all…..

  
- Fewer cancellations or clients running late. Probably the bane of the clinical massage therapist is last minute cancellations and people running late. In my experience, cancellations and clients running late are very much the exception for mobile work (and when these situations do arise, it is normally for a very very good reason).

Now doing mobile work is not for everyone and I will discuss some of the negatives in a future post.

By Richard Lane

Can I Massage your Obturator Internus?

I recently attended a deep tissue massage course in Sydney where I was introduced to the obturator internus muscle. I probably should have known where it is in the body and what it does but, I have to admit, I didn’t. The reason being is that it is in a pretty personal part of the body that I tend to stay away from during professional massage.

Now the formal description of the location of this muscle is that it “originates on the medial surface of the obturator membrane, the ischium near the membrane, and the rim of the pubis”. In language a little easier to understand it runs from the pelvic floor muscle, under and around sit bone (the ischial tuberosity) and attaches near the femoral head in the hip. It is one of a group of muscles that laterally rotates the hip (and it also assists in the abduction of the thigh).

Although I can understand that as a hip rotator that it may be important to release the obturator internus if someone is having hip problems, but given that I was not aware of it before the course, I think it is probably less important than other hip rotators such as piriformis.

On the course we spent over an hour talking about the obturator internus, receiving demonstrations on how to massage it and then practising working on it. All well and good in terms of improving the knowledge and education of the therapists, learning in a safe and supervised session. There seemed to be a real buzz and energy in the class about this one muscle that unnerved me though.

Although we are only talking about soft tissue bodywork, working in and around this part of the body is fraught with danger. If I went into see a therapist for the first time and they started massaging my obturator internus, I would be concerned that I was in the wrong type of massage establishment.

It is a highly personal area of the body that, in my view, the vast majority of massage therapists should never consider working. Yes knowledge of the anatomy and physiology is good but this type of bodywork should only be performed by therapists who are recognised as being experts and specialists in working with hip and pelvic floor issues (releasing and relaxing the obturator internus may be indicated with people who have a dysfunctional pelvic floor).

  
I would probably include massage to the coccyx in the same category – yes there are times when it may be indicated, yes most therapists could probably do effective body work in and around the coccyx. But in my view, probably best that coccyx massage is left to those who consider themselves to be specialists.

Maybe I picked up the vibe of the class wrong but just seemed that there was going to be a whole group of therapists targeting this previously unheralded muscle on an unsuspecting public.

Suffice to say though that you can rest assured that I would never be asking you the title question of this post.

Massage – Concord

Concord is becoming a popular suburb to choose to live in particularly for those who are looking for a suitable locale in which to bring up a family. There is a large amount of parkland and green space through the suburb yet, out of peak hour, it is still only about 20 minutes drive to Sydney’s CBD or alternatively, the railway passes close by at Concord West and North Strathfield.

With the growth in popularity of Concord there has come a commensurate growth in the number of services such as restaurants, and cafes. But walk down Majors Bay Road or Concord Road and you may struggle to find the number of massage clinics that you would find in a suburb such as Glebe, Leichhardt or Balmain other than maybe a Thai massage spa or two.

There are a couple of therapists operating out of their homes but if you are struggling to find a suitable therapist in Concord who is open at a time that suits you then maybe you should be considering having a mobile massage.

If you are looking for a remedial, sports or pregnancy massage in and around the Concord area, Inner West Mobile Massage has been providing quality home massage service since 2005. Therapists are potentially available 7 days a week (including Sunday massage in Concord) including evenings. For more information then check out www.innerwestmassage.com.au/massage_concord.php.

Our therapists are accredited with professional bodywork associations in Australia (such as ATMS) and we can provide health funds receipts for remedial massage. We arrive with all the equipment we need, massage table, towels and oils. All we need from you is a suitable space in which to work.

Obviously the more notice that you provide the better but often there may be therapists available at relatively short notice. For those who like to book directly online then online bookings are available for some therapists through Online massage booking).

Please note that we only provide therapeutic massage services and whilst there are both female and male therapists available for mobile massage, we will only accept bookings with female therapists from females.

If you would like more information or would like to make a phone booking then please give us a call on 0421 410057.

By Richard Lane

Sydney Mobile Massage Etiquette and Suggestions

If you search the internet for articles about massage etiquette then there are plenty to choose from. Many of these talk about how to prepare, what to expect, how to behave during massage, tipping etc. I thought that it would be appropriate to discuss massage etiquette for mobile massage and have a think about whether there are any differences in the etiquette for massage in home and massage at a Sydney clinic or day spa.

Now, there are probably not many differences in reality between a mobile massage and a clinic but given the massage is in your home there are slight differences.

mobile massage etiquetteFrom the therapists point of view, it is respectful that you are ready at the appointed time for the session and that you have prepared a suitable space in which the therapist can work in. If you prefer to have a shower prior to your massage then please do not wait until the therapist arrives as your therapist may be on a schedule that requires them to finish on time.

As an aside we feel that it is a courtesy for you to have showered prior to your massage. However, please do not feel self concious about your body, for example the fact that you haven’t had time to shave your legs is simply not an issue for us. What you wear or don’t wear has been covered in a previous post.

If you know you that you may be running late then give your therapist as much warning as possible so that if there is the opportunity for them to juggle their schedule a little to accommodate you then they have the maximum chance to do so.

Try to have the massage in a part of the house that provides the therapist a reasonable space in which they can set up their table and that is in a relatively quiet part of the house. However, if space is at a premium or the massage needs to be in a high traffic area then so be it – the therapist will be able to work (but it’s just preferable to have space/quiet). If the massage is to be in winter or the cooler months then try to ensure that the room is heated as you will cool down when you are on the table.

As with any massage, remember that it is your massage. You are paying so you are the one in control. If you want to talk or not to talk then an experienced therapist will pick up on your vibes and should behave accordingly. If you want more or less pressure during the massage then let the therapist know. Also if you feel that your therapist is spending too long or too little on one body area then talk to them – communicating how to the therapist how their bodywork is being received will provide you with a better experience and a better outcome in the form of greater muscle/soft tissue release or stress release.

We prefer you to have your phones and the television turned off but again, it is your massage so if that is what you want then that is up to you. It is just our suggestion that you will be able to relax more if there is gentle music or silence rather than a TV blasting.

Pets can occasionally interrupt a session so if you know that your dog or cat is likely to jump up on the table when you are just about to float away in a blissful haze, then try to ensure that that won’t happen before the massage begins.

The usual stuff regarding massage boundaries and draping applies to having a mobile massage as opposed to clinic or spa. Please do not expect that because the therapist is in your home or hotel room that they would behave any differently to if they were in therapeutic massage clinic.

  
If you have any concerns or questions about having a massage at home then please raise them when you call to make a booking. As well talk to the therapist before the session begins about what you specifically want from the massage (and also what you don’t want eg if you don’t like having your feet touched then let them know).

Hopefully these comments and suggestions will mean that when you book your next massage with us, you will be able to realise the great benefits that having a mobile massage in Sydney brings.

By Richard Lane


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